Sunday, October 17, 2010

What is Darin Strauss reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life.

Two books mentioned in his entry:
Updike's Marry Me [and] Tom Perotta's Little Children. Two stories of suburban infidelity. Updike is a world-class noticer; the prose is lovely, but the plot sags. Perotta's book is a perfectly-constructed, reader-loving machine. If you could combine the two novels, you'd have the greatest infidelity novel of all time. And that's what a writer should be: a...[read on]
Among the early praise for Half a Life:
Half a Life is an unusually honest, thoughtful and unsettling memoir, which readers and critics are destined to call 'brave'—for it is brave. But the book is more than simply brave, it is a searingly self-disciplined work of literature, and of self-examination. Darin Strauss does not permit himself even one sentence, even one moment, of lazy thinking, or mitigating excuses. He examines with rigorous honesty every moment of the most awful and tragic event of his life. After all that admirable work and all that attentive detail, when he does finally reach a place of cautious hope, the impact is staggering and unforgettable.”
—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

“Darin Strauss' Half a Life is the best anything I've read—novel, memoir, story—in a very long time. Incredibly, it's also the most moving. (And inspiring, and challenging; it's a book that asks you to live up to it.) This book has the greatest weight-to-power ratio I've ever seen. Read it, be swallowed, come out changed. If you've faced a death, of course you should read it. But everyone faces a life, and so the rest of us should read it too.”
—David Lipsky, author of Absolutely American and Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself
Darin Strauss is the international bestselling author of the New York Times Notable books Chang and Eng and The Real McCoy, and the national bestseller More Than It Hurts You. Also a screenwriter, he is adapting Chang and Eng with Gary Oldman, for Disney. The recipient of a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction writing, he is a Clinical Associate Professor at NYU's creative writing program.

Visit Darin Strauss's website.

The Page 99 Test: Half a Life.

Writers Read: Darin Strauss.

--Marshal Zeringue